Parent Teacher Association

The Parent Teacher Association at Elmhurst is made up of the Chair (Addeel Khan), Deputy-Chair (Sania Ali), a secretary position that is shared out amongst members and a group of Elmhurst parents. The PTA is overseen by Ms Shaw, the Pupil and Parent Voice Coordinator as well as Ms Turner (Assistant Head) and Ms Samra (Headteacher).  This year the PTA remains running and is an integral part of the school community. They meet once a month via zoom. New members are always encouraged and welcome to attend meetings. Now, more than ever, it is vital that the communication between parents and the school is strong. The PTA have met and decided on three key priorities for the year:

  1. Fundraising for Elmhurst families needing financial support
  2. Communicating with parents to ease anxieties and give reassurance
  3. Supporting withand promoting parent training

Please see below, the minutes from our recent and past meetings. 


PTA Meeting November 13th 2020.

  • Ms Samra began the meeting by noting the good turnout and thanking parents for making the effort to take time out to attend the meeting via zoom.
  • Ms Samra spoke about the school closure after half-term. She identified that the initial email to parents may have caused concern and understands the difficulty it put parents under, having to organise childcare, home learning and providing meals for those children. She explained that the decision was not taken lightly and was done in conjunction with Public Health Newham and the London Coronavirus Response Cell and was a necessary measure to stem further in school transmission 
  • Ms Samra talked about the relationship education meetings with parents that had taken place. There was some feedback taken on board from parents and the school will provide further clarification to parents on what will be taught. There will be parent training and sharing of content at a later point also. 
  • The PTA then looked at some of the charities that we have fundraised for in the past. Addeel (Chair) will do some analysis of what the priorities are in our local community and nationally so that we can support both. Parents are welcome to suggest charities that they know of, please send this information to either Miss Shaw - zoe.shaw@elmhurst.newham.sch.uk or Addeel (PTA Chair) - addeelkhan@googlemail.com.
  • The Government has announced that it will be providing free school meals funding to families throughout the holidays. The school will be communicating with these families and decide the best way to support them with this funding - food boxes/vouchers. Further to this discussion the government is not funding this through schools but through the local councils.
  • The Christmas Fair will be an online fair this year. There will be an online raffle and the draw will be live streamed to classes. It was suggested that the draw be filmed and sent to parents so they can watch later. 
  • It was identified that the biggest priority is to support vulnerable families in Elmhurst, particularly with the Christmas holidays coming up. With that in mind, the money raised from the Christmas Fair will be used to support these families. 
  • The home learning experience during the school closure was a learning curve and identified the need for resources for our most vulnerable families. These families have been identified. Families in need of support are also encouraged to speak to a member or the leadership team or the PTA if they need support. A suggestion was also to provide these families with books so the children have access to a range of texts at home.
  • It was noted that parents want to ensure that children are being challenged at this time. Part of the focus for this year will be identifying and teaching to the gaps in learning that have formed as a result of the lockdown last year. However, challenge is always planned and provided for all learners throughout the curriculum. 
  • The question was asked if after school clubs could be run in an online capacity. It was noted that it has been a challenging time and safeguarding staff wellbeing and workload has been important. However, some suggestions of zoom clubs were noted. The leadership team will review this. The targeted reading club for support groups will be running from this half term keeping the integrity of the bubbles.
  • Some online activities and competitions were shared and will be sent to subject coordinators to consider. 
  • Moving forward, the PTA would like to address educational aspects of the school as well as fundraising. The leadership team will look at how the PTA can best support education within the school. The PTA already has the very important role of ensuring good communication between parents and the school. One of the ways they will continue to support the school this year is through promoting parent workshops and training and supporting the school with their 5 Strategic Priorities as outlined in the first PTA meeting. 

PTA Meeting Minutes - October 16th 2020

  • Ms Silverwood (Deputy Head) welcomed the PTA back on behalf of the school. She thanked the PTA for their support and noted that it is a great forum for parents’ voices to be heard, something which the school welcomes and encourages.
  • The PTA chair, Addeel, also welcomed the PTA back, thanking members for giving up their time to attend and all the work that was achieved last year.
  • Ms Shaw shared the schools’ strategic priorities:
  1. Clarify curriculum content, design and sequencing
  2. Metacognition and Pupil Voice
  3. Equality and Diversity
  4. Ensure vulnerable pupils achieve successfully
  5. Extend pleasure and comprehension in reading and writing
  • It was noted that the priorities were very current and somewhat progressive. PTA members agreed that they were all appropriate for the year ahead.
  • Addeel shared the PTA priorities:
  1. Fundraising for Elmhurst families needing financial support
  2. Communicating with parents to ease anxieties and give reassurance
  3. Supporting with parent training (tbc)
  • It was also noted that these priorities are in line with the current needs for our school community.
  • Some parents felt that the letters going out when classes were self-isolating had caused concern and panic amongst parents. The school is obliged to inform those parents and will always be very explicit about who needs to isolate, only sending to the parents of that class. All other children should attend school. A general letter will go out to all parents to update them when this happens.
  • Fundraising was discussed, including how we can come up with creative ways to hold fundraisers online. The School Council has already come up with some great ideas. Cake sales could include pre ordering which was identified as very helpful as it avoids waste and makes it clear for bakers exactly how many cakes to bake.
  • A PTA meeting will be focusing on fundraising in the coming term.
  • Addeel shared some key points from a previous meeting with Ms Samra. Some of the topics discussed included:
  • Supporting our vulnerable families
  • Low attendance in the first few weeks
  • Sharing findings from the parent survey
  • Clubs will be restricted this year and limited to the class bubble
  • RSE workshops to take place next half-term to share the new PSHE scheme ‘Jigsaw’ with parents (dates tbc).
  • A thank you was given to Saleha for raising money for Macmillan through a cake sale. Some parents were unaware of the bake sale. For other events we will think of the correct way to advertise the event. Use of Parentmail should be in line with the PTA priorities.
  • Lunch time menus were discussed as the menu on the website needs to be updated. This is something the office is aware of and will be done after half-term.
  • The staff list is also in need of an update which the office will be doing.
  • Some children have expressed an interest in taking turns to go to the hall for lunch. The school has put a lot of work into working out the details and logistics of the current lunch setup. However we will be swapping the year groups in the hall with the year groups in the classrooms each half term for fairness. 
  • Discussed the benefits of the one way drop off and pick up system. However, any parents with medical conditions that affect their ability to walk their children to school should speak to their child’s class teacher for support. 
  • Parents in the KS2 playground have observed that there is some congestion at the gate at home time as parents are waiting outside and waving to their children to come to them. This causes unnecessary congestion, please come through the correct gates to collect your child. This will be monitored.

We would like to welcome all parents to the next PTA meeting which will be held via zoom on Friday November 13th at 9:30am. The zoom link will be sent out closer to the time.

 


Minutes PTA meeting                                                                                                      Wednesday 5th February 2020         

  • Deputy chair to be elected this term by the PTA and SLT (senior leadership team) via ParentMail.
  • In order to access the parent’s noticeboard Ms. Shaw to speak to Tomas, our new site manager, to move the large plant pot in front of it.
  • Reminder to let parents know about the SRE consultation meeting, review what room it will be held in as large number of parents expected to attend.
  • Shaw to send out form for PTA to review meeting times that suit current members.
  • Whatsapp group to be set up with core members of the PTA to communicate more often when organising events. Strict terms and conditions to be established and made clear to members.
  • Sport relief will be taking place with events happening between March 9th -13th. Ideas are being discussed between the PTA, school council, all students, Ms. Shaw, Mr. Purdie and Mr. Ben.  Some ideas:
  1. Sponsored walk/run with families
  2. Each year group to have a different sponsored activity
  3. Healthy bake sale (collaboration with baking group and students)
  4. Juice and fruit kebabs for sale
  5. School council to discuss with classes to get ideas
  6. Children to make and sell wristbands
  • If parents are having issues paying their £1 for non-uniform days they can speak to the class teacher.
  • Charalambous, our RE coordinator, shared the RE curriculum map with parents. Surveys were given to parents to gather feedback from them and their children on our current RE curriculum, these should be returned to the office by next Wednesday the 12th. If any other parents are interested in giving feedback, please speak to Ms. Charalambous in year 2. Ms. Charalambous is currently working with a team of RE specialists on developing the new RE curriculum for Newham.
  • Some parents have noted some concerns with workshops taking place in the school:
  1. Some parents who have signed up and taken a place do not arrive, therefore wasting a space – could this be followed with an explanation so as to avoid again?
  2. Occasionally parents are turning up when they have not been given a place in a workshop.
  3. When applying for a place in a workshop can it should be made clear if parents have or have not received a place as often application is successful but no place given.
  4. SLT to discuss if possible for some workshops to take place in the morning and afternoon for parents who cannot attend the afternoon session.
  • Teachers to keep their window updated with notices, as well as the current lunch menu, and remove old notices.
  • PTA to think about holding a coffee morning, possibly with the baking club, to get to know other parents and let parents know who they are.
  • SLT to discuss a concern where parents helping with school events are sending their older children to collect younger children but are not allowed.

The PTA would like parent to know that if they ever experience a difficult time, be it a bereavement, financial difficulties or any personal challenges, that they are here to support you as community members. Please speak to Ms. Shaw if you would like the PTA to help you if you ever have the need in the future.

Reminders:

Monday 30th March - Governors' Open Morning. From 9-9.30am parents, including the PTA, are invited to a meet and greet. 

March 4th 9:10am - next PTA meeting.                                                                                                                                       

March 4th 6-7pm – SRE Consultation meeting with parents


Minutes PTA meeting 04/12/19

  • We spent most of the meeting making arrangements for both the Community Christmas dinner and the Christmas Fair. The focus for the Christmas Fair was to get parents involved as last year the support was lacking. We also had a push on food donations and we can happily say that this year we had lots of food so thank you to all of you who donated, particularly the hot food. We had quite a lot of crisps and biscuits leftover so we donated them to a local food bank on Woodgrange Rd.
  • The Christmas Fair was a big success, raising just under £1200 for Richard House Hospice. They were extremely grateful and wanted me to thank all of the parents for helping with such a fantastic cause.
  • The Community Christmas dinner was also a success with mainly of the residents commenting on the excellent behaviour of the school council and what a fantastic day they had.
  • Addeel, our new PTA chair, thanked everyone for their votes and conveyed how he is looking forward to working together to support the school. He outlined some important guidelines to remember within our meetings –
  1. respect each other
  2. commitment
  3. planning and notice
  4. discretion – no individual names/families to be mentioned
  5. where possible, parents to discuss concerns with class teacher before bringing to PTA
  • We discussed what the role and purpose of the PTA is and will send out the finished definition to parents once we have finalised it.
  • The School Council and PTA are invited to meet the Governors at the Governors’ Opening Morning on March 12th at 9:10am. All parents are invited to attend and a letter will go out before the event.
  • No time to discuss appointment of deputy and secretary – to be discussed at next meeting.

 

 


Minutes PTA meeting 06/11/19

  • The school’s five strategic priorities were shared and explained by Ms. Samra:
    1. Clarify curriculum content, design and sequencing.
    2. Develop pupil voice in learning.
    3. Embed clear set of vision and values.
    4. Ensure vulnerable pupils achieve successfully.
    5. Extend pleasure and comprehension in reading.
  • A massive thank you to Junaid Ali and Addeel Khan, our candidates for the chair position on the PTA. Both presentations were well received and we appreciate the time that both have put in to prepare. PTA members and the leadership team will vote this week and we will share the results via ParentMail next week.
  • Once the chair has been elected the PTA will look again at the school’s strategic priorities and plan ways in which they can help the school to achieve them. With this in mind the role of the PTA will be clearly outlined and shared with parents.
  • Christmas dinner - the school council and PTA will be joining Green Street Community Neighbourhood Team to host a Christmas dinner for vulnerable elderly members of the community. If you would like to volunteer please let one of the PTA members know, you can find their picture on the school website under the PTA section as of tomorrow. Alternatively please let the office know so they can pass your details on to myself. You will need to be available on December 4th from 12pm – 3pm.
  • Parents are invited to attend an information/training afternoon on the school’s values which have been recently updated and shared with the children. They are referred to as the 5 Cs – care, character, confidence, creativity and challenge. Parents are encouraged to attend so they can understand what they are, why we chose them and how they can integrate them into the children’s daily lives at home as well as at school. This will be in the training rooms from 2pm – 3:15pm on November 20th.
  • The governing body member’s photographs will be updated after their next meeting on November 25th.  
  • We understand that not all parents can attend the morning PTA meetings so we have set two evening meetings. Please see below for the dates and times of the PTA meetings between now and April. These will all take place in one of our training rooms:
    1. December 4th 10:30am
    2. January 8th 6pm 
    3. February 5th 9:10am
    4. March 4th 6pm 
    5. April 1st 9:10am 
  • The PTA notice board needs to be updated more regularly and responsibility to be shared and allocated at the next meeting.
  • Parent suggestions:
    • fundraise for a defibrillator to be located on the school building and available to other community members
    • first aid course for parents
  • PTA members and other interested parents are invited to put themselves forward for the positions of deputy-chair and secretary at the next PTA meeting.

The next meeting will take place at 10:30am on December 4th. New members are always welcome.